What's the story about the state-handicapped dancers?
April 9, 2007 7:43 AM   Subscribe

What is the story I've been trying to remember? It's about a future where everyone who excels is handicapped by the state.

I read it in High School. The father in the story is a genius with an ear implant that disrupts his concentration. The son, I believe, and some woman are two dancers who are so beautiful and strong that they are kept in chains and forced to wear masks, but when they dance the chains come off and the masks break... and if you've read the story, you know how it ends. What is it? P.S. I'm going to work so if you answer it I won't be able to flag you till later. Thanks in advance.
posted by BlackLeotardFront to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, in the collection Welcome to the Monkey House.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:46 AM on April 9, 2007

Response by poster: Or someone could answer within 3 minutes. Thank you, that was it. We can probably just delete the whole topic now.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:47 AM on April 9, 2007

You're welcome. It's one of my favorites. ;]
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:53 AM on April 9, 2007

Bergeron is also one of my favorites. Not particularly deep, but it was really a world-view changer back in 9th grade or whatever when I first read it.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:05 AM on April 9, 2007

Also a movie starring Rudy.
posted by PhatLobley at 8:30 AM on April 9, 2007

It can be found online here.
posted by Coaticass at 8:38 AM on April 9, 2007

Vonnegut included a similar concept in "Sirens of Titan", where everyone had to wear weights, and strong people were proud because they could carry even more weight.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:46 AM on April 9, 2007

reading this story in Middle School made a strong impression on me. I find myself thinking back on it every once in a while, especially considering the great character names (e.g., Diana Moon Glompers. IIRC).
posted by tdischino at 9:11 AM on April 9, 2007

Didnt Aldeaus Huxley write something about this?
posted by BobbyDigital at 9:21 AM on April 9, 2007

A teacher of mine read this story (or at least one with a very similar setup) during a recent meeting about keeping things equal at school. His point was that no matter what the school does, different students have different strengths, and some will naturally do so much more than others. Why should the better students be punished? Sure, it's somewhat politically incorrect to assume that some people just can't do better, but students need to be met at the levels that they can achieve - and it really, really sucks when everyone is at the same level.
posted by niles at 9:29 AM on April 9, 2007

I'm so surprised when I hear people say they loved this story. I hated it with a burning passion and still do. I suppose my view of it was colored by the teacher who presented the story to us. He was a raging sexist who thought feminism was responsible for all the evils of the world and used this story to reinforce that lesson. Also, I think I've seen one or two other askmes on this story - sorry too lazy to link.
posted by peep at 11:48 AM on April 9, 2007

peep: I say read it again as an adult, while trying to keep an open mind, and discount what your teacher said.

You might be surprised.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:32 AM on April 10, 2007

Ynoxas, thanks for the nudge. I think I'll do that.
posted by peep at 12:14 PM on April 10, 2007

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